Oxford vs York Watch

ThatGuy107
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So I have offers from both universities to study biochemistry, but for some reason I feel uncomfortable at oxford. I feel like i don’t fit in with the other people there and I’m worried that I may be unhappy there. I definitely feel like I would fit in at York and even be happier.
However, obviously Oxford is the more prestigious university and would probably give me a better career outlook further down the line.
Would I be “mad” to turn down oxford or should I follow my gut on this?
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Sataris
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You say read instead of study

I think you'll definitely fit in at Oxford :lol:
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by Sataris)
You say read instead of study

I think you'll definitely fit in at Oxford :lol:
Just using what they put on their letter 😂
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Sataris
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Just using what they put on their letter 😂
You know, when I failed out of uni I had the opportunity to apply to Oxford again and I might have got in the second time around, given what I had learned previously. But after thinking it over for a while, I decided that Oxford would just be too much for me. I don't think I would've been able to handle studying there, so I turned my focus elsewhere. I don't think you'd be mad for turning them down.
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BlueIndigoViolet
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Just using what they put on their letter 😂
sounds like York has a special place in your heart

please dont make rash decisions, the only person that can truly decide is you. Look at graduate prospects, and please visit the universities and tell people their your concerns/expectations especially the students there, go on open days, and come to an informed decision, that will take into account how comfortable you will feel, your career and future.

Good luck
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Poooky
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What are your future career plans?
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by Poooky)
What are your future career plans?
I was looking at working with big pharma or doing the STP with the NHS, not sure which one currently.
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by BlueIndigoViolet)
sounds like York has a special place in your heart

please dont make rash decisions, the only person that can truly decide is you. Look at graduate prospects, and please visit the universities and tell people their your concerns/expectations especially the students there, go on open days, and come to an informed decision, that will take into account how comfortable you will feel, your career and future.

Good luck
Yeah I have been, I’ve just got back from an open day from Oxford today, they were all nice but it just didn’t feel like me if that makes sense.
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BlueIndigoViolet
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Yeah I have been, I’ve just got back from an open day from Oxford today, they were all nice but it just didn’t feel like me if that makes sense.
understandable - often its the perceptions people have about Oxbridge that make its feel distant/hostile - though if you truly feel that you would hate it there, would definitely reccomend York.

However for big pharma etc., Oxford does open some doors e.g. securing those interviews, and university experience/life is often what you make of it, you could spend your day in your room, or socialise in both - Oxford is definitely much more pressured in its working environments so thats a matter for you to decide, and would probably need some changes in to your approach to tackling work.

Taking all advice here with a grain of salt as at the end of the day it is your decision..
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by BlueIndigoViolet)
understandable - often its the perceptions people have about Oxbridge that make its feel distant/hostile - though if you truly feel that you would hate it there, would definitely reccomend York.

However for big pharma etc., Oxford does open some doors e.g. securing those interviews, and university experience/life is often what you make of it, you could spend your day in your room, or socialise in both - Oxford is definitely much more pressured in its working environments so thats a matter for you to decide, and would probably need some changes in to your approach to tackling work.

Taking all advice here with a grain of salt as at the end of the day it is your decision..
I will do thanks a lot!
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Yeah I have been, I’ve just got back from an open day from Oxford today, they were all nice but it just didn’t feel like me if that makes sense.
Can I ask what about the place "didn't feel like [you]" or makes you feel uncomfortable? You wouldn't be mad to turn down Oxford - so long as it's for the right reasons. A lot of people have misconceptions about Oxford and therefore don't apply/turn down offers for... questionable/unfounded reasons, shall we say, which I feel (as an Oxford alumna who had misconceptions about Oxford before going on a summer school there) is a shame :sadnod:
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whatsitcalled
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Hi there!

Recent Oxford grad here. I was also worried that I wouldn't fit in when I received my offer (comprehensive state school student from a vastly under-represented area of Britain). Honestly, I ended up really enjoying my time at Oxford. If by feeling that you won't fit in you mean that you're worried about certain stereotypes about Oxford students then I hope my experience can be helpful to you. Yes, there were very privileged people and posh traditions, but there were also many people who had gone to state schools too. I had a group of friends that included people from all kinds of backgrounds. You find people who are like-minded through your college and student societies. I did, at times, get very annoyed by the privilege of some of the students, but all the other experiences at Oxford made up for that for me. I rarely went to the posh balls or big formal dinners and still had a great time.

Of course, if you feel that you're more suited to York then an Oxford offer definitely isn't the be-all and end-all. A good degree from a top uni like York, in addition to extra-curricular activities, will not hold you back from career opportunities. In my experience, employers care more about a strong academic record, work ethic and a proven interest in the sector.

I would also say that the workload is quite pressurised at Oxford, which can take some time to accustom to. However, a misconception is that there's no time to have fun at Oxford. I still had a fun social life and got involved with societies, it's 'work hard/play hard'. York may be a bit more chilled.

I agree with blueindigoviolet to visit the universities (during uni term time, to get a feel of the cities) and not to make a rash decision. Both unis are great. Feel free to send me a message if you have any other questions about Oxford!
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Can I ask what about the place "didn't feel like [you]" or makes you feel uncomfortable? You wouldn't be mad to turn down Oxford - so long as it's for the right reasons. A lot of people have misconceptions about Oxford and therefore don't apply/turn down offers for... questionable/unfounded reasons, shall we say, which I feel (as an Oxford alumna who had misconceptions about Oxford before going on a summer school there) is a shame :sadnod:
Sorry for the late reply, it just feels to me as if I’m not welcome there. For example when I went down for my interview the other applicants seemed like they didn’t really want to talk to me, so I spent a lot of time in my room. I got a similar feeling from the open day. Being from Yorkshire not many people go to Oxbridge so I just think there aren’t too many like minded people there.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Sorry for the late reply, it just feels to me as if I’m not welcome there. For example when I went down for my interview the other applicants seemed like they didn’t really want to talk to me, so I spent a lot of time in my room. I got a similar feeling from the open day. Being from Yorkshire not many people go to Oxbridge so I just think there aren’t too many like minded people there.
That's really sad you felt that way, even at the open day. In my experience, at least, a lot of people kept their heads down/weren't hugely social at the interviews, and all the loud obnoxious snobby people didn't end up getting an offer :nah: Were you going around with a general group at the open day or was it the people you'd be studying with if you took up your offer?

It is true that there are fewer people from Yorkshire. I'd like to say two things about that:

1) If you were to turn down your offer, you'd become part of a self-perpetuating cycle whereby people from the North don't see people like them at Oxbridge, so they don't apply or turn down their offers, so there are fewer people from the North, which means people from the North don't see people like them at Oxbridge... if you see what I mean? I'm not saying that you should accept the offer to fly to Yorkshire flag for those who come after you - but I think it's important to stress why there may not be many people from Yorkshire at Oxbridge and how that isn't necessarily entirely Oxbridge's fault...

2) At Oxbridge, like-minded people aren't solely/generally those from your background. The thing that unites (almost) everyone at Oxbridge is a real drive, interest, aptitude and passion for their chosen subject. THAT is where the true like-minded-ness comes from, imho. So yes, there may not be as many people from your background/region as you or Oxford would like - but that doesn't mean you won't find friends or fit in :nah:

Personally, I'm a Londoner, so I can't directly empathise with the region/location worries, BUT I was a minority student in various other ways and can appreciate how daunting it may seem. I'm inclined to think your particular fears would be resolved quite soon after starting Oxford, tbh. But that said, if you honestly feel you would hate it and/or would be unhappy there, then there is no shame or harm in turning the Oxford offer down. York is a very good uni overall (I'm not a STEM student, so can't comment on the department or job prospects) and I'm sure it would stand you in good stead for the future
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
That's really sad you felt that way, even at the open day. In my experience, at least, a lot of people kept their heads down/weren't hugely social at the interviews, and all the loud obnoxious snobby people didn't end up getting an offer :nah: Were you going around with a general group at the open day or was it the people you'd be studying with if you took up your offer?

It is true that there are fewer people from Yorkshire. I'd like to say two things about that:

1) If you were to turn down your offer, you'd become part of a self-perpetuating cycle whereby people from the North don't see people like them at Oxbridge, so they don't apply or turn down their offers, so there are fewer people from the North, which means people from the North don't see people like them at Oxbridge... if you see what I mean? I'm not saying that you should accept the offer to fly to Yorkshire flag for those who come after you - but I think it's important to stress why there may not be many people from Yorkshire at Oxbridge and how that isn't necessarily entirely Oxbridge's fault...

2) At Oxbridge, like-minded people aren't solely/generally those from your background. The thing that unites (almost) everyone at Oxbridge is a real drive, interest, aptitude and passion for their chosen subject. THAT is where the true like-minded-ness comes from, imho. So yes, there may not be as many people from your background/region as you or Oxford would like - but that doesn't mean you won't find friends or fit in :nah:

Personally, I'm a Londoner, so I can't directly empathise with the region/location worries, BUT I was a minority student in various other ways and can appreciate how daunting it may seem. I'm inclined to think your particular fears would be resolved quite soon after starting Oxford, tbh. But that said, if you honestly feel you would hate it and/or would be unhappy there, then there is no shame or harm in turning the Oxford offer down. York is a very good uni overall (I'm not a STEM student, so can't comment on the department or job prospects) and I'm sure it would stand you in good stead for the future
I was with the people who I would be studying with on my course so that’s what was a bit off putting. I’ve got a lot to think about I guess :/
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
I was with the people who I would be studying with on my course so that’s what was a bit off putting. I’ve got a lot to think about I guess :/
Ah I see - that's different to what I was thinking then. I see your concerns, and they are quite valid ones :yes:
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Ah I see - that's different to what I was thinking then. I see your concerns, and they are quite valid ones :yes:
I’ve just got to figure out if I could put up with that I guess. Thanks for all your replies though they were helpful
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